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Motorola: Our Android Phone Will Be Cheaper, Better, Funnerer

More specs of the Android-based phone from Motorola have hit the Webosphere and the news is looking good. The phone will have a large touch screen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and will undercut the HTC G1 by $30.
More specs of the Android-based phone from Motorola have hit the Webosphere and the news is looking good. The phone will have a large touch screen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and will undercut the HTC G1 by $30.We already know that Motorola is working on an Android phone. Recently, we learned that the phone will provide access to social networking services. BusinessWeek has confirmed this, and that the phone will have a touch screen similar to the iPhone and also a QWERTY keyboard for easier text input. According to the BW report, insiders say the device will bear similar design language as the recently announced Motorola Krave ZN4.

Word is that the phone will have a higher-end look when compared with the HTC G1, which goes on sale starting this week. While the G1 will sell for about $180 after rebates with a new contract, the as-yet unnamed Motorola Android phone will be priced at the $150 level.

What we don't know is what network technology the Motorola Android phone will use. The HTC G1 uses the GSM system, and is compatible with networks worldwide. Given the large number of European companies involved in the Open Handset Alliance, it would make sense for Motorola to choose GSM-based networking technologies for its device, as opposed to the CDMA-based technology used by Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

The bad news is that the phone won't be ready until sometime in the second quarter of 2009, which could easily put it as much as six months behind the G1's launch. We don't know if this is because Motorola started developing later for the Anroid than HTC did or simply because Motorola is taking its time to make sure things turn out as good as possible.

Between now and the end of 2Q '09, more Android-based devices are sure to be announced and launched. We have to assume that HTC is already working on the successor to the G1, and other handset OEMs are working on their own Android handsets. Hopefully Motorola's late arrival will be offset by a solid device.

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Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer